Courts, FTC May Differ On Sponsored Product Reviews

By Jeffrey Greenbaum (February 19, 2021, 3:23 PM EST) -- Does the First Amendment protect the publisher of supposedly independent product reviews if it turns out that the publisher was actually paid to favor certain products over others?

The Federal Trade Commission has already staked out a pretty clear position on when sponsored product reviews are deceptive. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also considered this issue recently in Ariix LLC v. NutriSearch Corporation,[1] and reached somewhat different conclusions.

NutriSearch publishes the NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, a book that compares and reviews nutritional supplements sold in the direct marketing industry. The guide rates nutritional supplements in...

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